I picked up a free copy of this book at Worldcon last year. I find free copies tend to be hit and miss, usually it’s a book that a publisher really wants to promote. The last one I had read was Red Rising which was just awful, so I was a bit nervous about this one. But the cover was very appealing. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, but who hasn’t picked up a book thinking it was going to be more interesting based on the cover image. The description of the book sounded interesting too, almost in the genre of something like IT where a fantastical but traumatic childhood event has repercussions in later life. From reading that description, I thought the book would be more character driven, a heroine’s journey.
The book starts with a little girl who falls in a hole in the ground and is found sitting in the palm of a giant hand. That girl, Rose Franklin, grows up to study this giant hand and figure out what it could possibly mean. Spoilers in that the giant hand is a part of a giant statue of a woman. The book is mostly about the scientific quest to put the statue together and then find out what it means.
This probably would have been more interesting to me if it wasn’t written in an interview style, where “someone” is interviewing all of the main characters. One thing the book really lacked for me was character development, and the interview style definitely doesn’t help develop the characters. The characters spend time talking about this person being emotionally cold, or that person being particularly driven, but I think a better written novel would show those things instead of telling them. Then when bad stuff happens to characters, I would have felt something more instead of the “eh” that I felt. That being said, I do think this would make a fantastic movie or TV show.